TAYLOR SWIFT/ RED: Having started her musical career at the tender age of 14, the now 22-year-old songwriting prodigy has come a long way since her humble country origins in Nashville, Tennessee. Swift's 2008 second album, Fearless, became an overnight critical and commercial success while also managing to cross over to a pop audience - something nobody has pulled off since female country phenomena LeAnn Rimes and Shania Twain. The album went on to snag four Grammy Awards, not to mention several others from the American Music Awards, Academy of Country Music and the Country Music Association. To date, Fearless has received more awards than any other album in country music history, and further cements Swift's reputation as a well rounded artist and an exceptional songwriter.
Fuelled by the Kanye West incident at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, her follow-up album, Speak Now, enjoyed similar success and saw the young songstress playing sold-out shows around the world. And, like her music, Swift's history of highly publicised romantic relationships reads like an open diary (it's easy to see why, considering the fact that her past suitors include people like the Jonas Brothers' Joe Jonas, Taylor Lautner - from Twilight - John Mayer and Jake Gyllenhaal).
The opening number, State of Grace, is a pleasant surprise as it's by far the most rock-sounding tune Swift has attempted. Backed by huge drums, she sings: ''You come around and the armour falls/Pierce the room like a cannon ball/Now all we know is don't let go/We are in love just you and me.'' The title track, however, pulls us back into the break-up vortex as Swift cleverly indulges in colourful metaphors: ''Losing him was blue like I'd never known/Missing him was dark grey all alone/Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you've never met/But loving him was red.''
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